We are the ones suffering the most from people making light of our struggles. We are the ones being treated like addicts while our bodies attack us. We are the ones suffering. Would you say that someone living with cancer was drug seeking and looking for opiates to get high, not for pain relief? Why would that be okay to someone living with chronic pain?
The nation's drug epidemic, specifically the abuse of heroin and opiates, has earned center stage in politics and pop culture alike. The fact that we're talking about the devastating disease of addiction is welcome progress; those of us in the treatment field have been promoting awareness and de-stigmatization for years.
Just a couple of years ago, overdose prevention laws had never been attempted in any red state and conventional wisdom said they never could be. Now not only have advocates in red states proven those stereotypes wrong, but many Southern naloxone programs have become models for the rest of the country.
Because most people who are prescribed opioids do not see themselves as being at risk for overdose, they may decline naloxone even if it is offered by a medical provider. Talking about not breathing as a possible side effect usually grabs patients' attention and will make them more open to information on naloxone.